HISTORY OF WINE:
• Butler, Joel, and Randall Heskett: Divine Vintage, Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.
There are 280 references to wine, vineyards and wine-making in the Bible. Noah’s first task after leaving the arc was to plant a vineyard and Jesus’ first miracle was to turn water into wine. These two Biblical scholars explore the fascinating central relationship between wine and our Judeo-Christian traditions.
• Clarke, Oz: The History of wine in 100 Bottles, Stirling Publishing, 2015.
By focusing on one specific aspect of wine, a particular vintage, the shape or size of the bottle, a famous wine maker or drinker, Oz Clarke manages to describe the history and development of wine in a series of entertaining and informative vignettes.
• Johnson, Hugh: Vintage – The Story of Wine, Simon & Schuster, 1989.
Sadly, out of print but happily widely available through on-line booksellers, this hefty volume is a delightfully written and lushly illustrated pleasure to read from cover to cover. It is also in invaluable reference work written by one of the world’s greatest wine experts.
• McGovern, Patrick K.: Ancient Wines, Princeton University Press, 2003
McGovern is an anthropologist, a scientist, a chemist and a molecular archeologist who has focused his studies on the origins of wine in the Middle-East from Neolithic tombs, Noah and Gilgamesh to the Scorpion King and Tutankhamen. Fascinating.
• Phillips, Rod: 9000 Years of Wine, Whitecap Books, 2017
Covering much of the ancient history that McGovern discusses, this book takes the story further, tracing the spread of wine from the Middle-East, around the Mediterranean, throughout Europe and into the new world. The story ends with the international consumer market of the 21st century.
• Standage, Tom: A History of the World in 6 Glasses, Walker & Company, 2005
Wine plays only one aspect of this book, but Standage uses it to tell a fascinating history of human thirst. Beer in Mesopotamia and Egypt, Wine in Greece and Rome, Spirits in the Colonial Period, Coffee in the Age of Reason, Tea and the British Empire, Coca-Cola and the rise of America.
And of course, it goes without saying that The Booklovers' Guide to Wine itself includes a most comprehensive historical overview of the story of wine told in a most informative and entertaining manner!